Etisalat To Quit Nigeria
Etisalat international has withdrawn from Nigeria, its Chief Executive Officer Hatem Dowidar said yesterday.
The withdrawal may not be unconnected with Etisalat Nigeria’s indebtedness to a consortium of banks.
Dowidar said the firm has terminated its management with its nigerian subsidiary. Etisalat Nigeria has three weeks to stop using the brand name.
Last week, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervened to save Etisalat Nigeria from collapse after talks with its bankers to renegotiate a $1.2 billion loan failed.
Etisalat, with a 45 percent stake in the Nigerian business, said last month that it had been ordered to transfer its shares to a loan trustee after the failed talks.
Etisalat Nigeria is the biggest foreign-owned victim of the Foreign Exchange (FOREX) caused by lower oil prices and recession.
The telco took a $1.2 billion loan with 13 local lenders in 2013 to refinance an existing loan and fund expansion, but struggling to repay four years later.
Dowidar said Etisalat International had written down the value of the telco on its books, adding that transferring its 45 per cent stake to the lenders after loan renegotiation talks failed had no impact on the group.
The brand agreement in either of these two scenarios won’t be a long-term thing, so we take out the brand; in the long term Etisalat won’t be in Nigeria.